Servicing Your Vehicle – Why it’s Important
Most car owners have skipped a checkup or two in their car’s lifetime. The reasons always vary — life gets busy, not enough money, couldn’t work out the mechanic’s schedule with your own, and so on and so on. As harmless as it might seem to do this, you should be servicing your vehicle regularly. Maintaining your car isn’t a one and done sort of thing, either. Each different part of your vehicle requires specific checkups and maintenance, which requires that car owners at least skim their owner’s manual to get an idea of what needs to be done to keep their car in top shape.
Not sure where to start? We’ve come up with a checklist for you of essential car maintenance that every car on the road needs and why it is important to service them. Keep an eye on these things, and turn to your manual to see how often you should schedule a health checkup with your mechanic.
What To Look For When Servicing Your Vehicle
Your tires are what connects you to the road. When it comes to the overall mobility of the car, few things impact the car’s movement quite like the tires. The most essential thing you can do for your tires is a visual inspection. Check them out once a month or anytime you feel as though the car is driving differently. Do you see any irregular wear on the tread? This could be a sign that you need new tires, but could also be a sign that something more serious is wrong with your car. Any irregular wear is always something that should be brought up with a mechanic — typically it means that there is a more significant component on your vehicle that is having issues, like the alignment of your car being off.
Tread can be checked with a penny. Hold your penny upside-down so that Abe Lincoln’s head is pointed down. Then, use Honest Abe to help you see where your tire tread is at. If your tread reaches his nose, you’re all set. Anything below that and you might want to start setting money aside for new tires. Using tires with worn tread is a hazard to your safety, especially in poor weather conditions.
Lastly, checking your tire pressure will save you from blowouts, irregular tire wear, and more. Read your manual to find out your ideal tire pressure level and keep a tire pressure gauge in your car. Let your mechanic know if a tire keeps deflating.
We won’t spend much time on this one — this is easily one of the most-taught about things that each car owner learns in their tenure with their car. The oil is what keeps the engine lubricated, and without it, you can spell out disaster for your car’s engine. The oil level should be checked often, as much as every week if you do a lot of driving. Your manual will also tell you how often your oil and your oil filter should be changed. While this is something you can do yourself, it is best to let a mechanic do it. It saves you from having to figure out how and where to dispose of your used oil.
Fluids are one thing that is often forgotten about but can cause serious trouble for a car — especially if the engine coolant is forgotten about. Check your coolant, windshield fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid levels regularly. You can buy replacement fluid for any of these things at your local auto parts store. Additionally, your car manual might recommend a fluid flush every so often. Check your manual and make sure you follow its recommendations on fluid maintenance. Failure to do so could lead to more significant engine issues.
Air Filter Check
The air filters in your car are forgotten about so often, but did you know that they can actually worsen your gas mileage by as much as 10% if they are dirty? Air filters are one of the simplest self-checks you can do on your car. They cost very little to replace if they are dirty, and are as simple as lifting a lid under your car’s hood, pulling out the old filter, and replacing it with a new one. If you replace your filter after having engine issues and notice that it is still sputtering or having a hard time, then take it to a mechanic ASAP.
It seems simple, but a check of your wiper blades is essential for your own safety — which means it is crucial to the overall safety of the car. If your car’s wiper blades squeak, leave streaks, or just don’t cut it, replace them immediately. It’s better to spend a few bucks on replacement wiper blades than hundreds on collision repair down the line.
If you feel uncomfortable doing any of these things, that’s completely fine. After all, a car is a big machine, and it’s hard to learn every single thing about it if you’re not spending time with cars every single day. However, it is still your responsibility to get these things checked out, even if you don’t know much about cars. Not servicing and checking your vehicle regularly can lead to significant inconveniences, as severe as engine trouble. However, the worst thing that could happen is a danger to the driver and the passengers in the car.
Don’t let yourself fall into an expensive or dangerous situation by failing to do regular maintenance to your car. The folks at Zeck Ford in Leavenworth can help. Zeck Ford has its own, in-house mechanics who specialize in quick and thorough car servicing. You don’t have to own a Ford, and you don’t have to purchase your car from our shop. Whatever make and model of car you have, we can make sure that you’re road-ready, safe, and extending the life of your vehicle each time you see us for maintenance. To schedule a checkup appointment, please call us at (913) 634-2871.